Taking the Rocky Trail

Photo Credit: Spartan Race @spartanrace

Obstacle course racing has changed my life. Racing has taught me the impact and significance of mindset in my approach to overcoming adversity and finding peace in the present moment. Competing in obstacle course racing has been the catalyst that has initiated my journey in pursuit of my best self. The self that does not fear failure, the self that does not give up, and the self that seeks out opportunities to push the limits of my comfort zone.

When we overcome adversity, we build mental strength and resilience. Traveling difficult paths in life makes us tougher; to me, obstacle course racing is a tangible manifestation of this metaphor.  When we take the rocky, steep trail filled with obstacles, we encounter not only physical challenges, but the obstacle of overcoming our own fears, doubt, and negative thinking; these are opportunities for mindset growth.

So often, we fear the rocky trail because we will face resistance and we are exposed to the possibility of failure, disappointment, and loss. Obstacle course racing has instilled a hunger in me for these paths of high resistance, these chances to push myself further. Racing provides the landscape for me to transcend the walls of my comfort zone, transcend the place where I feel safe from failure. Obstacle course racers know that the most beautiful destination for our mindset growth is that raw, exposed land outside of our comfort zone. That open, dark place where we go when our body and mind enter the unknown; that place where the only light available is the torch that you choose to carry in your mind. In this dark place, we build our mental fortitude and our ability to approach negative experiences with our torch of confidence, fortitude, and resilience.

For me, each race is a chance to travel that rocky road that leads to growth and character building. Standing at the start, the miles and obstacles between me and the finish line are opportunities to experience a path of higher resistance. It is the opportunity to expose and humble myself to the distance ahead, knowing that failure is possible. I surrender myself to this rocky path, because that very potential for failure is the catalyst for my growth and transformation. When I conquer the fear and doubt in my own mind on course, I triumph. It is not my speed and excellence in performance that defines my victory, but my conquest over negative thinking and the limits of my comfort zone.

The lessons learned on an obstacle course go beyond physical developments, and are applicable in how we face difficult challenges and adversity in our relationships, jobs, families, and daily encounters. When we overcome obstacles on race courses, we also learn how to overcome obstacles in our lives. Racing develops our ability to brighten and illuminate our mental torch as we travel difficult and rocky trails. As the light of our torch strengthens from overcoming obstacles, so does our confidence and ability to observe these challenges through mindfulness and awareness; we can now see them clearly as obstacles, and not stopping points in our journey. No longer are we in the darkness of our fears, no longer are we blinded by the demons of our mind.

Obstacle course racing has changed my life: my torch, it blazes now. It shines brightly and leads me through adversity and difficulty; it lights my path as I approach obstacles in my daily life and in my mind. Each time that I triumph over myself, I become a better and brighter version of me. My wish for the world is to give the gift of this light, this fiery magic that is found in the moments when we are most with ourselves on race courses. My wish for the world is to shine bright against adversity and hardship, to progress towards the enlightenment of our own torches. My wish for the world is to change lives, one obstacle course race at a time.

3 thoughts on “Taking the Rocky Trail

  1. Well said, Rachel. The greatest adversity in our lives is the realization that we can rise up from the ashes and burn with the fire of the phoenix. You are an inspiration and I look forward to where this new journey takes you.


  2. Took me a long time to learn to even deal with discomfort, much less be ok with it and now to even seek it out. This OCR thing seems so crazy from the outside but once you step a toe in there, it’s a life changer for sure. So glad I stepped a toe in and found this new wonderful family!! All the love and keep these coming!!!


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